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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Ms. Frizzle Costume Tutorial - Literacy Parade!

It's that time of year again... Literacy Parade!!!
It's my favorite school day of the year.  It's what our school does in lieu of Halloween.  We have the kids dress up as literary characters, and we parade through the school.  Then, the elementary school grades do a book report, which is equally exciting, I think.    

Last year, I went as Amelia Bedelia.  Here's my costume in Falling In Love With Fall.  Last year I just kind of put different elements together, but this year I really went all out.  I've wanted to be Ms. Frizzle since last year's parade.  She's so cool, has an awesome sense of style, and best of all - give the girl a theme, and she'll rock it from here to kingdom come.  Just like yours truly! :)

So, here's a list of what I used:

- Dress - I found my dress at Goodwill for $6.00.  Looking through The Magic School Bus books, she wears many different colored dresses, but her blue/purple one is the one she's most often portrayed in.  I don't know if it's dumb luck, but I tend to find what I'm looking for when I go to Goodwill.  That was the case this time too.  It was the perfect length, it fit (barely, with the belly, but still fit), had a collar-like top, and had shoulder pads (yes, in this case that was a plus!)
- Old (boys') space sheet - I commandeered my sheet from one of our youth students, who wore it as a cape to a youth event.  It had these cool planets on it, so I asked her if I could have it, and she was sweet enough to give it to me.  If you don't have a cool situation handed to you like this, you have options.  Although you would never sleep on a sheet from a garage sale (right!?), you may find one that way.  Another option, if looking at stores like TJ Maxx or Marshall's for a random space themed sheet.
- Fabric Glue
- Scissors

- Crazy colored pumps - I found a pair of yellow ones at another second hand store, for a whole $1.
- Cut out planets to decorate.

- Stuffed lizard/gecko/chameleon
- Book - (requirement for our Literacy Parade)
- "Cosmic" jewelry - I had globe earrings I made years ago.
- "Frizzy" hair - I'll show you farther down

So, I started by cutting the planets out of the sheet.  I thought about using the trim as a belt, but ended up not liking it as much as I thought I would.  I also have pictured some plastic bead necklaces, but then ended up not using them,  It didn't add to the overall look at the end.

I unbuttoned the dress, and laid it out on the table.  

I did this, to try to make sure I wasn't gluing the dress together when I was gluing on the planets.  So, the next part was just placing the planets on the dress, trying to not have two of the same ones next to each other.  Next, I applied an even coat of fabric glue to the back of the planets, and stuck them back down.
Fabric glue is very fluid, so you want to make sure you aren't dripping it on the fabric.  Especially with a material such as sateen, which isn't very forgiving.  The fabric glue takes about 2-4 hours to dry, so I hung it up on a hanger, to let it dry.

The shoes were super easy.  I simply found some super uncomfortable, cheap yellow pumps, and using fabric glue to attach a planet to each of them, like so:

I don't know who Amanda is, but I'm glad she doesn't make shoes anymore.

For earrings, I used a pair I made a while back.  All it is, is some cool beads that look like the world, and strung them on a metal hook, then an earring, and voila!

I wanted to be as "authentic" as possible.  So, when my friend and I went to the book store, and they were almost completely out of The Magic School Bus books, and didn't have the space one, I was pretty bummed.  I bought the electricity one instead, and told my husband of my troubles.  My sweet man went ahead, and scoured the bookstores of Jacksonville, and finally had one shipped to a bookstore near his work, and surprised me with it the day before the parade.  He's that awesome. :)

Now for the hair.  I didn't want to dye my hair red, because we have our maternity photo shoot next week, and I didn't want to risk having funky orange hair.  But, if you wanted to dye your hair, I think that would be really cute!
So, the night before the Literacy Parade, I washed my hair, and put some curl control products in it.  Then I french- braided it in 6 braids (3 on each side).  The thinner the braids, the tighter the waves will be.

Good morning!!!

In the morning, when you take them out, hopefully it will look like this.  :)

I left some bangs out, and then pinned the rest of it up.  The great thing about waves, is that a messy up-do is easier to create, you can "hide" bobby pins better, and there's more volume.

So, the morning of the Literacy Parade, I did my hair, put on the earrings, the dress and the shoes, got my borrowed lizard, and went to work!
Yes, people in my building parking lot stared at me, as did people later on, when I was running errands on my way home.  But... how often do you get to be Ms. Frizzle, I mean, really!?

So, here's my costume, complete with lizard:

We had so much fun!  I had kids dressed up as Pinkalicious, President Obama, Madeline, Goldilocks, Fredrick Douglas, Arthur, Cleopatra, the pig from If You Give a Pig a Party, and a couple Cat in the Hats.  They did so well on their book reports, too!

I had Dan take a couple pictures of me too, because... well... it was a really cute costume! :)

There you have it!  My Ms. Frizzle costume!
I had so much fun putting it together.  Let me know if you're planning anything for Halloween, or if you and your family do anything as an alternative to Halloween.  Hit me with your best costume ideas!  I'm always looking for new ones! 


  1. look SO adorable!!! I have always loved Ms. Frizzle on the Magic School Bus....and consider myself The Ms Frizzle of piano teaching, making it as fun and adventurous as I possibly can! *smile*

    "Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!"

  2. I don't know if you still keep up with this site, but I would love to feature your costume in a costume round-up with an image and a link back to your site. Please let me know if this is not OK with you.

    1. Dear Brenda,

      I am still here, just recently had a baby, and haven't had much time. I would be honored if you would feature my costume! I'm so glad you like it! Please send me a link to it when you publish it, I'd love to see it! Thank you for stopping by!